We all have them--the students who are done with their assignments and ready for the next thing long before the other children in the class. It can be difficult to know how to keep them engaged and learning on their own while they wait for their classmates. That's where this list comes in! Use these activities to keep all of your early finishers entertained.
1. Write a Journal
At the beginning of the year, give each student their own journal. When they finish early, they can write a new entry.
Learn more: Study.com
2. Create Silly Sentences
You do not have to own the board game to create your own silly sentence strips! Your speedy student can record their silly sentences in a classroom "Silly Sentence Notebook" whenever they have extra time, improving their writing skills while at the same time having fun!
Learn more: All About Learning Press
3. Practice Typing
Living in a digital world, typing is an important skill for students of all ages. Break out the Chromebooks and let early finishers get some typing skill practice on this free website. Here are our favorite typing apps options for students.
Learn more: Free Typing Game
4. Independent Reading
As teachers, we all know the importance of reading and literacy skills. Encourage students to bring a book with them to class or have them pick a book from your classroom library when they finish a task early.
Learn more: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
5. Color a Picture
Have a plethora of coloring pages in your arsenal of early finishers activities. The link offers over 100 different coloring sheets! When students finish their pictures, they can hang them on the classroom art wall!
Learn more: Super Coloring
6. Contribute to the Interactive Sudoku Board
Follow the link to learn the steps to make your own interactive sudoku puzzle. Students can practice both their math and puzzle skills after they finish an earlier task!
Learn more: Activity After Math
7. Follow the Treasure Map
Create treasure maps on poster board for younger students to trace to practice their fine motor skills. You can even create a new treasure map on a whiteboard each morning just for those early finishers.
Learn more: Days with Grey
8. Solve Riddles
Talented students can get bored with tasks that are too easy for them. Keep folders of riddles with varying difficulties for your fast finishers to stave off this boredom!
Learn more: Brainzilla
9. Play Clock Solitaire
Brain games keep kids entertained while at the same time working their brain muscles. Have decks of cards available for early finishers and teach them how to play clock solitaire!
Learn more: What Do We Do All Day
10. Relax in the Cozy Cove
Have students who finish early grab a book or a notebook and go hang out in the cozy cove. In this station for students, they are required to remain quiet while still being engaged in an activity like reading or writing.
Learn more: Jessie Childres
11. Build with Lincoln Logs
Have a couple of sets of Lincoln Logs on hand for early finishers to build and practice their engineering skills in the process.
Learn more: Learning to STEM
12. Do a Maze
Have a folder of mazes for students to complete. These quiet activities will keep early finishers quiet and engaged.
Learn more: Big Activities
13. Play with Dominoes
Have a couple of different quiet math centers set up around the room with early finisher activities at each. Have one equipped with dominoes and directions for students on how to play different independent games.
Learn more: Upper Elementary Snapshots
14. Do a Word Search
Have a folder of word search puzzles to hand to students when they finish a task early. This will keep them engaged, quiet, and using their thinking skills.
Learn more: Reader's Digest
15. Draw a Self Portrait
Get out an iPad and a pair of headphones and have early finishers create a self-portrait following the instructions in this video.
Learn more: Books And Brushes For Kids!
16. Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle
Have a number of jigsaw puzzles on hand for early finishers. You can set up a puzzle corner for kids to work on puzzles little by little.
17. Do Online Jigsaw Puzzles
The image above is just one of the puzzles offered on jigsawexplorer.com. These puzzles are guaranteed to keep advanced students occupied for a long time.
Learn more: Jigsaw Explorer
18. Illustrate a Story You Have Read
This activity is nice because it just requires paper and colored pencils. Tell students to illustrate a story you have read recently as a class to kill some time!
Learn more: Family Education
19. Organize Your Desk
Create an anchor chart for what a clean desk should look like like the one provided above. It's not the most fun activity, but it will definitely keep them busy!
Learn more: Teacher Trap
20. Create a Heart Map
Have a model heart map for students to emulate and have them create one of their own during their free time.
Learn more: Homeschool NYC
21. Write Directions on Making a PB&J Sandwich
By the time kids are in school, they all know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If not, have them watch the attached video. After, have them get some writing skill practice by writing you step-by-step directions on how to make a PB&J sandwich.
Learn more: Food.com
22. Draw Your Favorite Character
Break out the iPad and headphones again and let kids pick their favorite character off of this website to draw.
Learn more: Art for Kids Hub
23. Write a Friendly Letter
Have students write a letter to a friend. This template is perfect for any upper elementary student.
Learn more: Primary Theme Park
24. Read a Magazine
There are so many great magazines for kids! When students finish early, have them grab one off the shelf and read silently.
Learn more: 25 Magazines Your Kids Won’t Put Down!
25. Play with Multiplication or Division Flower
Have division and multiplication flowers on hand for students to practice their math skills. If looking for extra creative tasks, have them create their own!
Learn more: Ofamily Learning Together
26. Make a Collage
At the beginning of the year, do one of the collage lessons in the attached link. Then when you have early finishers, they will know how to make more collages! All you need is a stack of old magazines.
Learn more: Lesson Planet
27. Listen to an Audiobook
Have a set of audiobooks on hand for early finishers to listen to! Attached is a great list of audiobooks to get you started.
Learn more: Penguin.Co
28. Build with Legos
Have a classroom set of Legos for your early finishers to tinker with. And then if you are looking for activities with Legos, do some of the awesome ones on the link!
Learn more: CompuChild
29. Do Logic Puzzles
Have a stack of logic puzzles on hand to work the brain muscles of your fast finishers!
Learn more: Woo Jr.
30. Answer Would You Rather Cards
Create "Would You Rather" task cards for early finishers. They can respond on paper or on the back of the cards.
Learn more: The Measured Mom
31. Write a Thank You Note
Have them write thank you notes to their friends and family using these templates.
Learn more: Kitchen Table Classroom
32. Read a Poem
Have students who finish early read a poem either off this website or from a poetry book in class.
Learn more: 35 School Poems for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students
33. Create a Digital Comic Strip
34. Create a Comic Strip on Paper
Give artistic early finishers this printable template and have them make their own comic strips.
Learn more: Scholastic
35. Write a Haiku
Poetic students will enjoy this haiku worksheet when they finish a task early.
Learn more: Poetry for Kids
36. Create a Timeline
37. Create 3D Art
38. Draw an Animal
Print out the directions on how to draw animals and have early finishers draw an assortment of animals!
Learn more: Bored Panda